#MikeBrownNotes :: Duress, Protest, Heroic

I think it has to be written that much of the response to the murder of Mike Brown is under immense duress. Unlike many other contemporary socio-political movements, much of the protesting is occurring in the face of the very same police department that the perpetrator worked for. Nobody ever organized a protest in front of George Zimmerman’s home. The protest outside of the major districts of Wall Street were shut down fairly rapidly. The same police department that reacted to a seventeen year young boy headed to college with ten bullets and then reacted to the residential outcry with a small paramilitary force and tear gas are the very same people these protesters have to face on a daily and on-going basis. With that, I am very understanding of certain more than human counteraction.

 

(Yeah, OWL still sucks with the friendly disclaimers…anywho…let’s go…)

 

Seriously, alright, we are dealing with, once again, a murdered teenager. Yet, another young Black teenager shot several times by US “law enforcers”. The difference in this case is just how close the quarters between citizens and pigs during protest phases has been. There is a sense that Darren Wilson will not be indicted. A great logical conclusion that I can only muster up a small portion of doubt of occurring and that would only be for the sake of advocating devils. I do not think Darren Wilson will be arrested for the brutal murder of Mike Mike Brown. I am not the only person that thinks this, I just happen to be lucky enough to be too many miles away from home to have to deal with protesting for a goal I know will never manifest. For those that are not as lucky as me presently, that has to be a very painful bit of cognitive dissonance to wrestle with. What do you do when there is no way in the world your best efforts could possibly yield you the desired results?

 

I worry about the instant gratification of social media during all this. In the initial three days prior to Daddy Obama’s two or three sentences that were not about ISIL/ISIS, most of those protesting and offering uploaded footage seemed to not want to be identified. Even after Mike Mike’s St. Louis transformed into Obama’s Ferguson, most of the protesters wore shirts and masks over their face before tear gassing hours. Initially, even the social media presence felt secondary, even tertiary. Those few days after Mike Mike’s execution was such a dynamic occurrence that even if a person was in communication with those on the ground in St. Louis, you were still disconnected from much of what was happening. People simply could not update the events fast enough. Then came the media frenzy, more tear gas, and then Kajieme Powell.

 

A lot of people make the comment that they are protesting daily to prevent another Mike Brown, and yet another Mike Brown was murdered not to far from Mike Brown’s murder scene and not too long afterwards. Those in that area have to feel an epic level of fear and a tremendous blow to their overall resolve. Two relatively young Black persons shot multiple time by the police within a three mile radius with no public reprimands in either incident. How do you cope with that if you are a protester attempting to make some sort of sense out of all this? While you are getting hit with rubber bullets and tear gas cannisters, the police are still taking lives while the news crews are still looking for their pulitzer in the streets of Obama’s Ferguson? I cannot personally write that I know what that feels like.

 

There is a heroic quality to those that appear regularly at these protest sites, and yet I fear getting too close. I fear my gaze and them being too aware of my observing them with cause them to act differently. I assume that my apprehension here is a bit delusional, and that it is way too late for that. The sheer enormity of the measure is too magnetic for media to avoid. A livestream documentation here, a Twitter stream of rebroadcasted images there. To be in Obama’s Ferguson from a distance seems like being in a fish bowl. I would imagine from time to time the psycho-chemical blends of ennui from no arrest coupled with the potential instant gratification of social media and possibly an actual media van pulling up can be intoxicating.

 

I am not so sure intoxicated responses to life are prudent on such a precarious protest site.